Issue 16 / August 2018

"It’s the special role of a novelist to have the mystical belief in the power of art to bring meaning to people’s lives."
Rachel Kushner, 6/11/18 at The American Library in Paris via @lastnightsreading

Issue 16

Don’t Hang Your Soul On That: Chapter Two

Robert Hilles

He doesn’t notice the change in weather until dark clouds balloon overhead. It’s too late to take cover so he drops his scythe and arches his back to the warm downpour. When the rain shifts sideways, Ed straightens and widens his stance to keep from losing balance. His robe soaks through and droops heavily but the rain is a welcome reprieve from the steady throttle of afternoon heat.

Issue 16

I Am Not Brad Pitt: Chapter One

Ross Dreiblatt

Even though I’m not actually guilty, I know many of you think that I got what I deserved. You probably think people like me get by on their looks and coast through life without breaking a sweat. Well, in my case, coast through someone else’s life. I know for a fact, from the “fan mail” I get here, that there are lots of you out there that think I’m just a crazy man spinning a conspiracy theory. I’m used to that kind of judgement, it doesn’t bother me.

Issue 16

Sugar and Dust: Chapter One

Ella Kerr

This is what I knew of tragedy: run as far and as fast as you possibly can. The plane touched down on red African dust exactly five months and two weeks after the death of my mother. My shoulders were sore from hunching under the weight of her loss, and my legs burned with the fire of the restless. My heart slowed down the longer I stayed on that plane.

Issue 16

The Wedding Bell: Chapter One

Roxana Arama

First century CE. Rome is marching. Cities and temples are falling. In a fictitious kingdom by the Black Sea named Dhawosia, Princess Andrada, sole heir to the throne, wants to help her father unite his infighting chieftains against the growing Roman threat. But when she fails the trials they demanded of her, her father marries her off to a neighboring king

Issue 16

The Flight

Ellen Gunnarsdottir

My father knew that March would be a long month this year so he died on the last day of February. Nobody expected it. My mother had said that he would outlive her and become a hundred. He was eighty, recently retired from his medical practice, and still indestructible, or so we thought.

Issue 16

Time Breaks Sometimes

Beatriz Seelaender

My grandparents shocked everyone at their Golden Anniversary when they informed us that they would be taking a break from their relationship. I for one did not know this was something grandparents were allowed to do. If you made it fifty years, you are expected to get all the way through the end

Issue 16

How a Boy Becomes a Mom

Jeffrey Seitzer

When my wife Janet was expecting, she read everything she could get her hands on about pregnancy and child-rearing. She gave me regular executive summaries of her findings. While she spoke, I silently wondered about all the fussing. People had been doing this for ages. Surely, it was not that difficult?

Issue 16

View From The O-sento

Ophelia Leong

Lying down underneath a cloudless sapphire blue sky, I felt the sun’s rays caress my naked body like warm fingers. I felt the blood thrumming through my veins, warmed by the baths and exhilarated by the fresh air. A small white towel lay between my legs, a mediocre curtain of modesty, but it didn’t matter.

Issue 16

The Changing Forest

Joey Salvo

My father wears baseball caps on our hikes to the beaver pond. The little hair he’s had has always been sparse and gray, and the hats are to protect his exposed head from the cold, the sun, or both. In old photos his hair is thick, like mine, a black storm cloud swirling around his head.

Issue 16

Tweets I Could Have Tweeted

Kirkley Mehndiratta

Tweets I Could Have Tweeted While I was at the Leighton Artists Colony Writer at Banff Centre for the Arts & Creativity in Canada, Except That I Quit Social Media Cold Turkey for the Purpose of My Writing Residency (from a human with anger, anxiety, energy, solitude, loneliness, panic, and procrastination problems)

Issue 16

Jim

Katie Coleman

They have buffalo lodge and they have ghost lodge and they have all these different styles of lodge. The Lakota. Originally from Minnesota but spent the last 200 years in the Dakotas and that’s where I… so in 1978, you know about the freedom of religion act?